Modeled after the stages of the cosmic cycle in Buddhist cosmology, the immersive installation of Embodied Architecture has four acts: formation (成), continuance (住), decay (坏), and nothingness (空).
The immersive film’s first act unfolds the building process of an eleventh-century Buddhist pagoda, the Shakya Pagoda of the Fogong Monastery. The installation situates the present-day visitors amidst the pagoda’s timber framework , enabling visitors to explore its sophisticated structure, which epitomizes East Asian architectural carpentry.
The second act unveils the imaginary universe and spiritual journey embodied by the Shakya pagoda. Immersed within the pagoda, visitors ascend from the ground floor to the top floor; through this journey, they experience the ritual of bodily and spiritual transformation symbolically embedded throughout the pagoda’s visual and spatial program.
The third act unfolds the gradual transformation of the pagoda across the thousand years of its history. It invites the visitors to witness the pagoda's texture, material, painting, statue, and space, as they change over time.
The last act stages an imaginary ruin of the pagoda. It demonstrates Buddhist cosmology’s universal cycle from construction to destruction, inviting visitors to contemplate themes of impermanence and spiritual transcendence.